Time: Tuesday, 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: OWS 250
Course Content: http://www.johnrengelman.com/courses/2016/etls509/index.html
Online Class: Google Hangout

Instructor Info

Name: John Engelman
Email: john.r.engelman@gmail.com
Phone: 612-965-3873
Position: Chief Technologist, Object Partners


  • B.E.E - 2006 University of Minnesota
  • B.C.E. - 2006 University of Minnesota
  • M.S.S. - 2009 University of St. Thomas
  • Lead Systems & Software Engineer, Lockheed Martin, 2005 - 2011
  • Principal Software Consultant, Object Partners, 2011 - 2013
  • Chief Technologist, Object Partners, 2013 - present

Course Description

This graduate course considers two closely related but distinct concepts in systems engineering, verification and validation.
Verification is “The process of evaluating a system or component to determine whether the products of a given development phase satisfy the conditions imposed at the start of that phase.” (IEEE Standard Glossary of Software Engineering Terminology, Standard 610.12-1990.)
Validation is the act of assessing the requirements, design, and development of a product to ensure that it will meet the user’s requirements, operational needs, and expectations at the time of delivery.
These activities occur throughout the systems engineering cycle, not simply at the end. Systems engineering verification and validation practices will be studied and applied in appropriate situations.
This course considers validation and verification across the system boundary of system elements to include: hardware, software, humans, and life cycle elements.


  • ETLS 507 - Introduction to Systems Design
  • ETLS 508 - Systems Design

Required Texts

  • INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook – reference text (available free online)

Additional Texts

Course Objectives

  • The student will be familiar with the role of systems engineering in the life cycle phases of a product or system.
  • The student will be able to develop a broad spectrum of quantifiable measures of system effectiveness i.e. requirements.
  • The student will be able to define means of validating that the system achieves the quantifiable measures of system effectiveness i.e. requirements 4.8 INCOSE.
  • The student will be able to define means of verifying that the system achieves the quantifiable measures of system effectiveness i.e. requirements 4.6 INCOSE.

Course Methodology

A mix of lecture, case studies, class discussion, in-class role playing, and student
presentations will be used to cover the course materials.

Class Schedule

Class Schedule

Major Assignments

The students will be responsible for the following elements of class

  1. Mid Term Presentation 25%
  2. Final Presentation 25%
  3. Project 40%
  4. Class Participation 10%

An important aspect of this class is an ability to synthesize the concepts presented, with personal experiences, knowledge and abilities.
Everyone in class will benefit from your participation.

Grading Policy

Student achievement will be measured based on the two presentations, written project and class participation.
An overview of the project is provided at the end of the syllabus. Class members will be graded on overall performance of the class.
Grades will be affected by timelines of completion.

Academic Integrity

All students are expected to understand and follow the University of St.Thomas
policies on Academic Integrity. These are described at: http://www.stthomas.edu/engineering/graduate/policies/2011-12acadintegrity

Don’t cheat and don’t plagiarize.

Here are five ways of plagiarizing:

  1. Word-for-word continuous copying without quotation marks or mention of the author’s name.
  2. Copying many words and phrases without quotation marks or mention of the author’s name.
  3. Copying an occasional key word or phrase without quotation marks or mention of the author’s name.
  4. Paraphrasing without mention of the author’s name.
  5. Taking the author’s idea without acknowledging the source.

All work not designated as a team activity is expected to be accomplished individually.
Any situation demonstrating collaboration or collusion in individual work in this class will result in a 0 grade for all parties and a reduction in letter grade for the course.


Students are expected to attend all class sessions.
Circumstances that prevent attendance will be honored up to two instances.
Absences in excess of two times will result in a lowered grade for the course.
Contact the instructor when a special situation arises.
All absences require that the instructor be informed in advance.

Disability Policy

Academic accommodations will be provided for qualified students with documented disabilities including but not limited to mental health diagnoses, learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorder, chronic medical conditions, visual, mobility, and hearing disabilities.
Students are invited to contact the Disability Resources office about accommodations early in the semester.
Appointments can be made by calling 651-962-6315 or in person in Murray Herrick, room 110.
For further information, you can locate the Disability Resources office on the web at http://www.stthomas.edu/enhancementprog/.